Hot Jupiters can slow down the aging of stars

(ORDO NEWS) — Observations of binary systems confirmed the idea of ​​a “rejuvenating” effect of hot Jupiters on their mother stars.

The presence of a nearby and massive planet causes them to rotate faster and show high activity, which is characteristic of young luminaries.

Hot Jupiters are called exoplanets with a mass that is comparable to that of Jupiter, but at the same time much closer to their stars than Mercury is to the Sun.

This makes them extremely hot: even iron evaporates on such planets. However, the presence of a hot Jupiter can have a “rejuvenating” effect on stars.

These conclusions were reached by scientists from the Potsdam Astrophysical Institute (AIP).

A young star can be identified by its high activity, which is accompanied by frequent ejections of matter and powerful flares, including in the X-ray range. However, the presence of a nearby massive planet also leads.

Under the influence of tidal forces, the star begins to rotate faster than it is “supposed””, and its activity increases. This can lead to incorrect estimates of the age of distant stars.

Nikoleta Ilic and her colleagues at AIP have studied this “rejuvenating” effect with the Chandra and XMM-Newton space telescopes.

They made observations of binary systems in which one of the partners has a hot Jupiter. The stars in such pairs are the same age, therefore, by comparing them with each other, one can single out the influence that the presence of a massive and close planet has on one of them.

And in order to exclude the influence of stars on each other, scientists considered only such systems, the distance between the participants in which is sufficiently large.

X-ray observations made it possible to estimate the behavior of stars in almost 30 such pairs. And they confirmed that in the presence of a hot Jupiter, the star looks and behaves more actively than its partner of the same age.

“Before, we had only some curious indications, says Marzieh Hosseini, one of the authors of the work. “Now we have statistical evidence that some planets can actually influence their stars and keep them young.”


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